On October 18th, two lucky ladies entered Rogers Arena for the first time and left with a new favourite player – John Cecil "Jack" McIlhargey.
The former Canuck posted up outside section 111 before the New York Rangers game to meet fans and sign autographs. Fans of all ages lined up to meet Jack and share memories and stories of Canucks seasons past.
Many fans knew Jack from one place or another, recognizing him as a player, coach, scout, or a combination of the three. McIlhargey was a hit with all generations of hockey enthusiasts, taking photos and signing autographs with everyone from grandmothers to young boys.
Originally hired by the club as Special Assistant to the General Manager in the fall of 1984, McIlhargey was responsible for helping to establish the Canucks Alumni Association and a number of scouting assignments. He moved into coaching only three months later and spent the next six seasons as an Assistant Coach to Harry Neale, Tom Watt, Bob McCammon and Pat Quinn.
McIlhargey was a key member of the Vancouver Canucks coaching staff and organization over the past 18 years. Before being named Canucks Assistant Coach on June 18, 1999, McIlhargey spent eight seasons as Head Coach of Vancouver's top minor league affiliate in Milwaukee, Hamilton and Syracuse. He was the first Head Coach in the history of the Syracuse Crunch franchise. In 1999, McIlhargey was voted one of the 30 All-Time Greatest Canucks. In 2006, McIlhargey began working as a pro scout for the Vancouver Canucks, and later went back to Philadelphia to become an Assistant Coach and is currently a scout with the Flyers.
By John Glynn